As cryptocurrency grows, new adopters follow. At BitPay, we want to welcome new users and provide them the tools to make the most of the BitPay and cryptocurrency ecosystems.
This article covers topics relevant to new wallet users, such as the basics of BitPay and how to send and receive cryptocurrency. These topics are explained in simple language with links to helpful articles and videos for getting started with the BitPay Wallet.
Bitcoin is a digital currency that has many of the same characteristics as cash. However, bitcoin is much more secure than paper money. With bitcoin, you can send money over the internet directly to another person without a middleman.
Here are the important features of Bitcoin:
1) Secure: You own your bitcoin by keeping track of a private key. It's a digital signature that no one can forge or fake. Because you're the only one who owns your private key, there is no reset or recovery. You have total control and total responsibility over your funds.
2) Fast: Instead of entering all of your personal information when you buy something with bitcoin, usually all you need to do is scan a QR code or copy and paste a receiving address to pay. Then, with a swipe or the press of a button, you can send funds to anyone anywhere in the world in minutes.
3) Pseudonymous: Transactions, addresses, and wallets are not connected to real-world identities. While it is possible to analyze the flow of transactions in order to make inferences about the owners of funds, there is no such thing as a bitcoin ‘account’.
4) Global: Bitcoin is not owned or controlled by any single entity, which makes it a borderless technology. Anyone can send any amount of bitcoin anywhere, anytime, for minimal transaction fees.
5.) Irreversible: After confirmation, a transaction cannot be reversed. Bitcoin is a uniquely secure payment method which eliminates chargeback risks.
How about Ethereum?
As a cryptocurrency, Ether shares many of the same features as Bitcoin. Depending on the coin, implementations may differ but the concepts are common.
BitPay is a cryptocurrency payment processor which offers merchants the ability to receive blockchain payments. BitPay also offers the BitPay Card which is a debit card that can be loaded using cryptocurrency. However, BitPay is not an exchange, and we do not offer the service of buying and selling cryptocurrency.
Finally, BitPay develops two cryptocurrency wallet applications: BitPay and Copay, which let you manage your funds!
The BitPay Wallet
The BitPay Wallet is an application that allows you to easily manage your blockchain finances in a secure way. We have carefully designed this app for new users, without hiding important information or removing powerful features.
Here are some of the top advantages of the BitPay Wallet:
- Non-Custodial. You own your wallet private keys. Unlike Coinbase and other custodial services, you are in control of your wallet and the funds within. BitPay has no access to your wallet. (Why don't I have an online account for my BitPay Wallet?)
- Get real security by using a real wallet. Create a basic wallet for immediate payments or lock down your security in a multisig wallet by requiring payments to be approved by up to 12 different devices. The app PIN and the wallet Encrypt Password provide additional security to your device and funds.
- Purchase securely. Full Payment Protocol support verifies and secures payments to enabled services, including all BitPay merchants.
With the BitPay Wallet you can:
- Store funds in Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), and multiple ERC20 stablecoins.
- Send and receive cryptocurrency.
- Turn your crypto into dollars with the BitPay Card. You will also be able to load and manage your BitPay Card within the BitPay App. (Where is the BitPay Card available?)
- Purchase Amazon, Delta, Google PlayStore, and many more gift cards.
- Buy and sell cryptocurrency by connecting to Coinbase through the BitPay App. (Coinbase account required).
- Pay invoices that use Payment Protocol.
- Create shared wallets.
- Exchange cryptocurrencies using ShapeShift (ShapeShift account required).
- Sweep a paper wallet.
However, there are some things you cannot do with any true crypto wallet, including the BitPay Wallet:
- Store fiat money (USD, EUR, JPY, etc). In a true wallet you store cryptocurrency.
- Send funds directly to bank accounts.
- Store crypto other than those supported. If you want to use other cryptocurrencies, you will need a wallet app for that currency.
First: Install the BitPay App
Begin by installing the BitPay Wallet app. Please follow our guide: How to Install the BitPay Wallet.
Second: Create a Wallet
- If you are new to the crypto world, you will need to create a cryptocurrency wallet.
- If you already own a wallet and have its 12-word recovery phrase, you might want to import the wallet on the BitPay App to start managing your funds.
Third: Back up your Wallet
The last step in setting up your wallet is to back the wallet up. This step is extremely important:
- First, you must back up the wallet to use it.
- Second, you must write down the recovery phrase and store it securely. If you do not, you will have no way to recover the wallet and you could lose the wallet and all your funds. There is no way to recover the wallet if you do not have the recovery phrase. BitPay cannot recover your wallet or your phrase for you.
Watch our Youtube video on how to back up your BitPay Wallet:
Loading the wallet with funds
To load your wallet, you need to have cryptocurrency either in another wallet or on an exchange. If you do not have funds, you can purchase cryptocurrency on an exchange that operates in your country.
To purchase cryptocurrency on an exchange, you will likely need to use a bank account as the payment method. Most exchanges do not allow you to use credit cards to buy cryptocurrency.
For most exchanges, the process will be:
- Create an account on the exchange.
- Register a payment method.
- Buy cryptocurrency.
- Send the funds to your BitPay Wallet.
If you have funds on an exchange and need to move them to your BitPay Wallet:
Sending and Receiving Funds
After your wallet has been properly backed up, it is ready to send and receive funds.
To learn how to send and receive funds, please refer to our guide:
Because transactions are not reversible, we strongly recommend caution when sending and receiving funds.
Double check the destination address with the receiver. When entering the address, either scan or copy and paste it- do not type it in.
Before giving your address to others who want to send you funds, make sure the address is correct. When sharing the address, either let the sender scan it or copy and paste the address- do not type it in.
Cashing your money out
If you have funds in your wallet and want to cash them out, you will need to sell your crypto through an exchange. BitPay does not provide exchange services, though eligible cardholders may use their BitPay Card to convert crypto into dollars. The BitPay App does have integrations with some popular exchanges.
For most exchanges, the process will be:
- Look for an exchange that operates in your country.
- Create an account. (Requirements, screening processes, and conditions can vary for each exchange.)
- Register a payment method to receive funds.
- Send your cryptocurrency to the exchange.
- Sell the cryptocurrency.
- Withdraw the funds from the exchange and receive local currency in your bank account.
Purchasing Gift Cards
The BitPay Wallet offers gift cards from several brands. The gift cards’ availability depends on your country. Learn how to purchase gift cards with crypto from your BitPay App.
Making purchases is one common use for cryptocurrency. The BitPay Wallet supports Payment Protocol, which lets you make payments securely.
The BitPay Card
The BitPay Card is a simple and practical way to turn your cryptocurrency into fiat and make purchases with your card’s balance. Get the card and use it to spend anywhere Visa® is accepted!
Connecting the card to your wallet app
The BitPay debit card can be linked to the BitPay App, which lets you top up the card from your cryptocurrency wallets in the app.
Using the Coinbase integration
With the BitPay Wallet, you can connect your Coinbase account to the app to buy and sell cryptocurrency. This feature requires you to have a fully set up Coinbase account.
To connect the BitPay Wallet to your Coinbase account, you need:
- A Coinbase account
- A cryptocurrency wallet in Coinbase
- At least one cryptocurrency wallet in the BitPay App
- Your phone, as you will likely receive a verification code from Coinbase to authorize the app
Before connecting the app to your Coinbase account, make sure:
- You are using an updated browser, such as Google Chrome. Some users report problems with certain versions of Firefox, Safari, and other browsers.
- The coin of the wallet that shows up on the Coinbase website authorization screen matches the coin of the wallet you have on the app.
- You tap the Authorize button on the Coinbase site until it says Authorizing. Sometimes you have to tap two or more times.
- Your mobile operating system (Android / iOS) is up to date.
If you cannot make it work and you still need to access your Coinbase account, we recommend you try on another device with a different operating system. We have tested some browsers which work on mobile devices but not on desktop.
Buy/Sell with Coinbase
After your Coinbase account is connected to the BitPay App, you will be able to buy and sell cryptocurrency. In order to buy crypto, a payment method must be set up on your Coinbase account.
Trade cryptocurrency using ShapeShift
The ShapeShift integration lets you convert between cryptocurrencies from the BitPay App. You must have a ShapeShift account previously set up. Learn how to start trading with ShapeShift.